Cutten lends commerce skills to Foundation board
Up until a few years ago, Andy Cutten hadn’t had much exposure to the community-college model. After all, he'd graduated with a Commerce degree from Saint Mary's University, received his CPA accreditation, and then attended Northwestern University in Illinois to obtain his MBA.
But then he started "bumping up" against Nova Scotia Community College through his work as a management consultant. Now he's not only a fan, but a new member of the NSCC Foundation Board of Directors.
"I've become a total advocate of community college and what it is trying to do," says Andy, a Truro native who returned to Nova Scotia and helped found Halifax Global Inc. in 2003.
"I'm continually surprised by what is going on here," he says, mentioning projects like the map digitization taking place at COGS and the recently announced COVE Project.
One of Cutten's consulting assignments involved facilitating visioning sessions on post-secondary education for the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, which is how he met President Don Bureaux and other college employees.
"What really impressed me about NSCC is the way they interface with business and the private sector," says Andy. "This is highly important to graduate success and to our economy."
He also worked on a project in Yarmouth that connected him with Burridge Campus Principal Mary Thompson, who told him "we have students here who would not be here if not for the Foundation and its financial support."
So he joined the Foundation board in February 2016, bringing with him a wealth of management and financial expertise honed during a career in global manufacturing and service businesses, which took him from Toronto to the UK to the United States, before the father of two and grandfather of one settled with his wife in Hackett’s Cove.
Giving people a second chance
"I'm pretty passionate about it. We're helping students in need – they can see that the fundraising that's happening is for them," says Andy, who was impressed by a recent meeting with a single mother of four who's enrolled in the Culinary Arts program and is an award recipient.
"I thought 'This is awesome' – in many cases it's giving people a second chance," he says.
Cutten's board experience also includes Nova Scotia Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Forces Liaison Council Nova Scotia.
Cutten obtained his MBA from Northwestern University in Illinois.